James and Deborah Fallows In the Press

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 10th, 2019 at 4:39 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns The Last Family-Owned Daily in Mississippi

In his May 10, 2019 post, Jim returns to the subject of local journalism, its importance in communities as potentially the only source of community-wide information and accountability and also the intense pressure local press is under. 

And he reports on one small daily newspaper bucking the national trend, The Commercial Dispatch of Columbus, MS. Read the post here.

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 10th, 2019 at 12:02 AM

The Atlantic, Our Towns Dead Malls Everywhere

Jim writes an additional installment with reader views on whether abandoned and bankrupt malls can become the sites of civic and architectural rebirths for their communities.

Read the post here.

Featured in The Dispatch

Posted on May 9th, 2019 at 5:42 PM

The DispatchHBO Documentary to Feature Area African-American History Event

The Dispatch reported on James and Deborah Fallows and their HBO crew, in Columbus and Starkville, MS this week filming for their upcoming HBO documentary based on their Our Towns book. The Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science's annual Eighth of May production in Sandfield Cemetary will be featured.

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 9th, 2019 at 2:39 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns Mississippi Emancipation Day

Jim and Deb are back in the Golden Triangle of northeastern Mississippi on Emancipation Day, whose commemoration they first observed five years ago and reported on in The Atlantic and also in Our Towns. They will be reporting this week on the schools, industry, history, inclusion and exclusion, progress and struggle of the area. 

Read the current post here and earlier posts here and here

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 7th, 2019 at 3:44 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns Dead Malls, Reborn Cities

In his May 6, 2019 post, Jim shares what he has learned from readers over the few days since his original post and a follow-up on the fates of buildings that have outlived their original economic or civic function.

Read the most recent post here.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 5th, 2019 at 2:08 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns What Happens to Abandoned Malls

In his May 4, 2019 post, Jim further discusses the fate of 1970s-era shopping malls, now often abandoned eyesores in the cities that proudly demolished historic downtown infrastructure to build them. One reader commented that previous generations loved their malls when they were built and posits that we may look back with regret on what is being torn down today. 

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:47 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns, Unknown Outside Indiana

In his May 3, 2019 post in The Atlantic, Jim addresses reader responses to his previous reports on Muncie, Indiana. The common theme of the posts was how surprising it was to show up in a town and hear about what was happening there, since so little of the news ever made its way out of Indiana to the national press. One reader from Indianapolis responded that, although they consider themself well-informed, even they hadn't heard or read about what's going on in Muncie, a fact they blame on the death of local journalism. 

Read the entire post here.

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 1st, 2019 at 3:01 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns, An Unusual Way to Bridge the Town-Gown Divide

In part two of their report on Muncie, Indiana, Jim and Deb report more specifically on Ball State University's involvement in the economic and civic development of Muncie. The axis of the University's "civic stewardship" is the troubled local public school system, Muncie Community Schools. Ball State is now running the entire city school system, a plan that has rarely been tried anywhere in the country.

Read the entire story here.

Featured in Citi IO

Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 5:34 PM

Citi IO features James and Deborah Fallows in their April 29, 2019 article, "How Cities Became the new Laboratory of Democracy." The Fallowses are cited for the numerous urban success stories in Our Towns supporting the theory that problem-solving is much more effective on the local than the national level.

The common strand author Alan Ehrenhalt found most compelling in the cities visited is the presence of collaboration -- collaboration between local elected officials, chambers of commerce, universities, foundations, and other nonprofits to formulate ambitious plans and see them through.

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 11:55 PM

The Atlantic Our Towns Muncie

Jim and Deb see in Muncie, Indiana an illustration of the gap between the experimentation, freshness, practicality, and progress in many American cities and the faint national-level awareness of those developments or what they might collectively amount to.

Muncie specifically demonstrates several activities worth national notice:  a.) a specific local response to a global challenge and b.)  a major institutional and civic rearrangement in which a university becomes a prominent civic actor.

Read the story here